Posted 30 Jun 2014 in Live, Tim Shockley

Brian Roger01_NEW wcredit2


In the words of great, noted philosopher, Joe Biden, “This was a big f-ing deal!” It was opening night of the North American tour of, arguably, one of the greatest rock groups of all time, now fronted by a singer young enough to be the grandson of its founding members. No pressure, right?

Arriving early at Chicago’s United Center, we were dumbfounded to see a single line around the block. We overheard a guard mention an “issue,” but never heard any more. All the while, storm clouds were rolling in. An ominous start, perhaps?

Maybe it was just me, but I felt a strong sense of electricity and anticipation, if not anxiousness, in the air. I hadn’t seen Queen since 1977. To this day, that show remains in my top five, all time and they were two hours late due to a blizzard!

On to the present. Obviously, Brian Adam01_NEW wcredit2being the first show of the tour, no one knew what to expect. The lights dimmed and “Procession” served as the instrumental intro. Cue the goose bumps. The huge curtain hiding the stage rose and for the first time in nearly four decades, I saw Queen perform “Now I’m Here.” Are you kidding me? Worthiness of admission price already achieved. I was still in bliss when they followed with “Stone Cold Crazy.” It appeared this would be a night of history in the making; one for the ages.

OK, on to the elephant in the room- Adam Lambert. How could anyone ever replace Freddie Mercury? Simply put, no one can or ever will. Period. End of story. Ready Freddie was one of a kind and it’s a tearful shame he is gone way too soon. That being said, if there is anyone on this planet who could pull this off, it is Lambert. To my ears, he hit every note needed. Trust me, most singers can only dream of doing Mercury justice.

Adam02_NEW wcredit2Lambert also possesses the stage presence and swagger of a seasoned veteran. I think he stayed after class while studying Flamboyance 101. He definitely wears his personality on his gold-studded sleeves. I’m thoroughly convinced Mercury would give “Glambert” his blessing and wholehearted stamp of approval.

Founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor may have grayed a bit and gained a stone or two, but neither have lost a step over the years. Both performed extended solos and even took over lead vocals during, undoubtedly, Lambert’s many costume changes.

The only song I could’ve done without, forever actually, was “Radio Gaga.” But I guess they have to play the hits and give younger fans something to synchronize-clap to.

Lambert used a word during the show which I thought about earlier in the day- “spectacle.” Nailed it! Queen doesn’t merely do concerts. They perform spectacles.

I mentioned earlier Queen ’77 was a top five show. Queen 2014 is a top ten. Well done!

–Tim Shockley, Chicago, Illinois USA

Photos by Patrick McParland

Videos by Cos2mwiz

Set List

    1. Intro (Procession/Flash)Logo01_NEW wcredit2
    2. Now I’m Here
    3. Stone Cold Crazy
    4. Another One Bites The Dust
    5. Fat Bottomed Girls
    6. In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited
    7. Seven Seas Of Rhye
    8. Killer Queen
    9. Somebody To Love
    10. I Want It All
    11. Love Of My Life 
    12. ’39
    13. These Are The Days Of Our LivesBrian Roger02_NEW wcredit2
    14. Drum Duel
    15. Under Pressure
    16. Love Kills
    17. Who Wants To Live Forever
    18. Guitar Solo
    19. Last Horizon
    20. Tie Your Mother Down
    21. Radio Ga Ga
    22. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
    23. The Show Must Go On
    24. Bohemian Rhapsody
    25. We Will Rock You
    26. We Are The Champions
    27. God Save The Queen

Once again… thank you to Cos2mwiz for the great videos

Posted by Larry Carta

1 Comment

  1. Patrick A. McParland (30 Jun 2014, 14:19)

    A fine critique, Mr. Shockley.
    And you are correct, it was QUITE the “spectacle.”
    Everybody was in fine form. Ex-bassist, John Deacon was no longer with the band, and I thought that they could have done a little bit more to highlight the bass player & keyboardist that they had on this opening night of the tour. I don’t even know if they were introduced and they seemed to be hidden so well off to stage right that we barely even knew that they were there.

    As for Adam “Glambert” (that is SO befitting. Well Done, Man!), Brian may & Roger Taylor; they sounded like they had performed as a unit for the entire career of Queen. And Adam proved to have the pipes to handle the job with ease.
    What we really enjoyed was the fact that he never seemed to imitate Freddie, he (wisely) never set out to try and outdo Freddie, and yet still- this was truly a QUEEN “spectacle.”
    We didn’t walk away at the end of the night thinking that we had just seen a band that was fronted by a replacement singer. No. We left there that night with the satisfaction that we had just seen QUEEN perform.

    My thanks to both you and Larry Carta for letting me be a part of this report with my photos.

    -Patrick A. McParland

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